Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Twinkle lights

Hello my friends, how are you?  We finally have a clear day today after lots of rain, but still very overcast and gray.  I have been feeling the need to get out in the garden and do something, even if it's just pulling weeds.  Does the garden ever call to you?  Galen thinks I'm crazy, but I find it very rewarding and therapeutic.  

I decided to restring twinkle lights outside in the jasmine over the back porch.  The lights will usually last about six months so I only have to replace them twice a year.  They went out two nights ago.  

I twist the lights through the vines starting at the bottom, taking them up and over the porch door and ending near the pergola.  It makes the prettiest light at night.  No matter how dark it is you can always see without turning a harsh overhead light on.  The twinkle lights create a nice ambiance.  

Lights are maybe I'll go pull those weeds.    

Enjoy your day!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Drying Hydrangeas

Would you like to have beautifully dried hydrangeas for fall and winter arrangements?  The trick is in picking them.  Hydrangeas do best when allowed to dry naturally on the plant before picking.  Fresh blooms do not dry very well.  

I cut a bunch the other day, took all the leaves off, tied them by the stems with rafia and hung them to dry.  You could also dry them in a vase or pot if the stems are strong.  

After the hydrangeas are dry, arrange them in a pretty container or use them in making a wreath for hanging.  Dried hydrangeas make lovely arrangements.  


Friday, July 11, 2014

Strawberry pot and a sign

I found this bright orange strawberry pot at Yoder's Hardware store last week and just had to have it!    

After filling it with strawberries from our strawberry patch in the back of the garden I decided to put it outside the kitchen where I can see it and where it will be close to pick berries for our morning cereal.  

  ~ Then I had this idea....

why not have a bright orange welcome sign as well?  

So I painted the sign and hung it on the garden gate.  The orange goes nicely with the blue and terra cotta pots and other accessories I have in the garden.    

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Double frames

I was so happy to find these double picture frames at Goodwill the other day, and for only $1.00.  And guess what I had in mind for them?  

Yes, Otis and Riley.  These are prints that I made of my original paintings.  

My two very special boys.  And even though Riley is no longer with us, I look at his sweet little face and am reminded of all the good times we shared.   It's hard to think about one without the other ~ that's why I was happy to find a double frame like this.   


It's now hanging in our bedroom.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

A new DIY patio

Good morning my friends, how are you?  Hope you all had a nice weekend.  Today is another beautiful summer day here in the south.  We've been having some lovely warm summer days recently and unusually cool evenings, cool enough to open our windows at night and feel the breezes.  Just perfect!  

I want to show you photos of the new patio we put in ourselves.  Well, actually, that Galen put in, since he did most of the work, but I supplied him with plenty of iced tea and coffee.  We now have a small new patio under the big holly tree in the back yard.  
By the way, this coleus growing in the flower garden caught my eye the other day and I had to take a photo of it.  

As you can see, the patio is between the two stone walkways that lead to the garden and the back of the property.  

Galen dug up the area first, put down paver base and stones, and then made a molded frame out of wood for the concrete pavers.

He poured each paver individually from the one wooden frame.  

All finished!  

And now we have another sitting area ~ a place that we can enjoy alone or when friends and family come to visit.    

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Now I know

Do you have this plant growing in your garden?  

I didn't know what it was until a friend of mine on facebook posted a picture of it the other day and identified it as Jewels of Oparalso known as the fameflower.  This plant has been growing in my garden for several years now, popping up everywhere.   I just thought it was some type of baby's breath.  I love the pretty pink flowers and tiny burgundy and gold seedpods.  It sows freely and is drought tolerant.  

Another one of my favorites, and this one was a gift from Mother Nature.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cleaning copper the natural way

Once again it's time to give my copper pots a good cleaning.  Over time copper gets dull and tarnished and just doesn't look very pretty.  This morning I gathered all my pieces together and lined them up on the kitchen counter ready for cleaning.  Wow, I didn't realize I had so much.  

Instead of using harsh chemical products I decided to use all natural ingredients.  Lemon, salt, and baking soda.  Mix all three using equal amounts.  I used a soft cloth and then rinsed each piece with cold water.  

It works great.  

  It takes time and a lot of rubbing, but well worth it.  

What a beautiful shine!